Tag Archives: bag

June’s Bee Block + A Birthday Surprise


Two words: String Circles – this is the block for Modern Instabee Hive 13 that I feared the most because it was way beyond my skill set. After a puckered trial block and a cry to Instagram for help, I was successful. Following the advice I received, I used a lot of Best Press (starch), 32 pins, and did a bunch of stopping to adjust the fabric as I stitched.

That is a lot of pins! I have now completed five blocks for the Modern Instabee and I am having so much fun. July brings us to Painter’s Palette.

Switching gears from a quilt block to a zipper pouch, a surprise zipper pouch to be exact. A very happy birthday shout out goes to my dear friend, Janelle! We have been great friends since college and we do not get to see each other as often as we like. Sadly, Philadelphia and Cincinnati are not conducive to weekly dinners.


I tucked this zipper pouch in the mail on Friday and waited for the phone to ring on Monday. She was surprised and she loves it – those are the reasons that I love putting little surprises in the mail.

I used the trusty Noodlehead Wide Open Zipper Pouch tutorial in the large size. Here is the pouch with my iPhone for size.


Sewing provides a wonderful distraction from all of the chaos going on in my life right now. We have two households in two states, the cats are being moved to MD on Sunday, and I am actively job hunting while the house is on the market. When it all gets overwhelming, I go upstairs and sew.

How about you? Do you use sewing as a reprieve from life?


Happy Birthday, Mom!

A huge Happy Birthday to my Mom today! She is my inspiration, source of advice, and my biggest cheerleader. She made my halloween costumes, prom dresses, and even offered to make my wedding dress! I grew up in a household where creativity was encouraged and even though I did not have any interest in sewing until my thirties, she fostered my photography and helped with college design projects.


Since I will not top last year’s surprise doorstep arrival, I went with what I knew, a quilted wall hanging and to stretch my skills a bit, a wide open zipper pouch.


The J is from the Spell it with Fabric blog hop that Moda did earlier this year and the wide open zipper pouch is a pattern from Noodlehead.



Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope that you have a fantastic day.

Quilt Details

Title: J
 J Pattern from Moda
Front: J – Waterfront Park Flight in Navy by Violet Craft, red and white dot from my stash
Back: Widescreen in blue by Carolyn Friedlander
Binding: various fabrics from the Waterfront Park Collection
Quilting: Aurifil 40WT #2600 (a pale gray)
Finished size: 12×14″

Pouch Details

Pattern: Small Wide Open Zipper Pouch by Noodlehead
Top: red and magenta patterned fabric from my stash
Bottom: black yarn dyed Essex Linen from Robert Kaufman

MOD Prep!

My first retreat starts on Thursday and I am so excited that I can barely stand the wait! I am attending the inaugural MidAtlantic MOD in Lancaster County, PA with people from the Philly MQG, DC MQG, Central Jersey MQG as well as others that scored one of the 65 sewing tables.

I am trying to decide what projects to work on and what machine to take. Currently my to do list looks like:

  • A baby quilt for a good friend of my husband
  • Plus quilt to be given as a Quilt of Valor
  • More Shirts for round 2 of the All Shirt Swap!
  • Paper pieced stars for my granddad’s quilt
  • A handful of grab balls – both to sell and for gifts
  • Maybe, just maybe the Aviatrix Medallion quilt since Elizabeth Hartman is releasing it on the 1st and a baby sized Single Girl since I now know that it can be paper pieced.

Serious question, how many projects are too many? I do not want to get bored, but I do not want to pack my ENTIRE sewing studio either.

Originally, I had planned on just taking my featherweight and doing piecing, but I am beginning to second guess myself. If I bring my Bernina, I could use the time to start and finish a quilt or two – that would require me hauling batting, backing, safety pins, etc., so I am leaning towards leaving the big machine at home. I still have a few days to decide and I am guessing that everything will be tossed in the car…just in case!

I signed up to take part in a progressive quilt, a tote bag swap, a few charity events, and two classes: paper piecing and gentle curves.

My progressive quilt assignment is for the low volume/little bits quilt. The instructions were to use the fabrics provided as well as other low volume/white/gray fabrics from your stash and add a pop of color. They suggested improv piecing and the block(s) had to total 14″ square. I’m going to put it out there that this was WAY out of my comfort zone. Improv implies no plan and I always work with a plan or at least a rough sketch. I dug through my stash and decided to add bits of orange and my signature platinum quilter’s linen.


My contribution is actually three blocks (complete left, bottom right with Architextures, and top right) because I could not decide if I liked them pieced together or not. This way the orange grid can be spread out throughout the quilt. I am looking forward to working with the other people assigned to this quilt and working on assembling it at the MOD.

The tote bag was so much fun to do. Robert Kaufman Fabrics generously donated enough Essex Yarn Dyed Linen for each participant to receive a yard of fabric. (Thank you!!) The instructions were simple, make a tote before the MOD using the linen and whatever else you choose and it must be larger than 12″ x 14″. We will be doing a blind swap on Saturday evening.


I went to my go to tote bag pattern, the tied top tote from Sue Kim’s book Bags – The Modern Classics. I added tiny 1.5″ HSTs down the center of the tote for a pop of color. I used a flying geese configuration for the front.


As well as stripes for the back. Have I mentioned, today, how much I love the versatility of HSTs!


I even added a pocket for a pop of color on the inside as well as added usability. I love how this tote turned out and I hope the lucky new owner will love it as well.

The weekend is going to be awesome! A full, long weekend of sewing with old friends and an opportunity to make new friends. Are you going to the MidAtlantic MOD? There are some day passes available for Thursday/Friday if you are interested.

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